Session 1 The UEFA Performance and Certification System
It was made clear that UEFA would take the final decision on the accreditation of any laboratory. Obviously they must have all the necessary equipment, have tested round-robin samples from UEFA and have given satisfactory results. If the equipment needed to be constructed entirely from the beginning, it would cost in the region of 75,000 US dollars.
UEFA were asked why they had not adopted a classification scheme for facilities, similar to the one adopted by IAAF. They replied that their main concern was with top-class international facilities, it was not their responsibility to set standards for lower level facilities. They expected to see their specification used for top level facilities but it was the responsibility of the national football associations to run the game in their own countries.
Ed Milner suggested that it would be useful if the manufacturers, test laboratories, UEFA and ISSS members met in Koeln every other year at the same time as the trade fair.
It was stressed that there is a difficulty with defining exactly what is a good natural grass surface, because there is such great variability due to weather, pile height, maintenance etc.
Concern was expressed that the industry needed time to develop suitable products. UEFA made clear that facilities have already been constructed, tested and found to comply with the criteria laid down.
Product Certification requires the manufacturer to give UEFA information on the source of the raw materials. This is because if you change the source of a component, you change the product.
Session 2 Other Certification Systems
The FIH pointed out that synthetic pitches enable the playing season to be extended. They are also a great ‘equaliser' in that there is not so much advantage to the home team.
The FIH are still looking for accredited laboratories in North and South America and in central Asia.
They will be publishing an updated Pitch Manual in 2003. Manuals on Irrigation and on Maintenance are also in the course of preparation.
The current challenge for hockey is the long-pile pitches. They are not so suitable for hockey. Skills are diminished and there are also hazards associated with them - for instance it is easier to get under the ball and lift it.
The IAAF said that under their accreditation system they have so far certified 272 implements, 339 products and 27 surfaces from a total of 17 suppliers. They have 8 accredited laboratories. Their Certificates have a validity of 4 years. They will be amending their requirements to ask for product certification tests on surfaces to be carried out at three temperatures : 10, 23 and 40 degrees.
The ITF stressed that their system is a classification scheme not an approval scheme.
They need to develop methods to evaluate the influence of ball spin.
FIBA will be introducing a compliance system for backboards from January 2003. The system is the usual one of requiring independent testing, applying to FIBA and being issued with a Certificate of Compliance in return for a fee.
They are hoping to introduce a system for surfaces - a draft document has been prepared. The requirements will include force reduction, vertical deflection, rolling load etc.
Wooden floors are used for top competitions. Synthetic floors are acceptable for lower level competitions.
The ISSS has successfully concluded the AGM and the Technical Conference in Cagliari. Scientific and Individual Members present accepted financials, audit report and activity schedule as presented.